Elder Law

Long-Term Care and End-of-Life Planning

»Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Elder Law | 0 comments

Long-Term Care and End-of-Life Planning

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common root of dementia in older people. It is an irremediable, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys an individual’s memory, thinking capabilities, capability to perform even the simplest daily activities. Once this disease leads to the most severe stage of dementia, it will render a person totally dependent on others even on the most basic tasks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that scientists are still in the dark with regard to the real cause of Alzheimer’s disease. They can only assume that there is probably not just a single cause, but several factors that may affect each person differently, such as:

  • Age, which is the best known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Family history;
  • Education, diet, and environment;
  • The possibility of increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to factors that lead to heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low levels of the vitamin folate.

Based on the 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, it is estimated that 5.5 million Americans of all ages are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. About 5.3 million of them are 65 and older, while approximately 200,000 are under age 65 and have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.

Because Alzheimer’s disease causes a person to lose his or her ability to think clearly, medical and legal experts advise those recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to study and update their financial and health care plans while they still have the ability to make clear and meaningful decisions. These plans usually include the drafting of a living trust, a will and instructions that will ensure the carrying out of their health care and financial wishes during the later stages of the disease.

The legality of documents to be prepared naturally calls for the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer who is familiar with the laws of the state where the patient resides. Besides making sure that all plans are made in compliance with the state’s laws, the law firm Peck Ritchey, LLC, also says that these plans should cover all elder concerns, including planning for health care decisions and end-of-life issues; long-term care planning; general estate planning and administration; and guardianship.

Being diagnosed with an Alzheimer’s disease is emotionally wrenching, but so will leaving your loved ones with a bleak future. This is why a patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will need all the medical and legal assistance that he/she needs to make sure that everything will be in place when the disease casts its full effects and takes his/her life eventually. Though the days ahead may be filled with worry and/or fear, this may somehow be lessened, knowing that the financial future of your loved ones is already taken care of.

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